Friday, April 4, 2008

The Myth of "Clutch"

I'm just going to speak in generalities for this article. I started to coalesce all the research I've looked at from various sites, all the examples of anecdotal evidence that lead even learned baseball men astray (look at A-Rod's and Derek Jeter's postseason numbers, for example), and I've decided it's a waste of time. You'll either believe me or you won't.

There's no such thing as clutch in baseball. Guys pretty much do what they always do, with the standard statistical deviation for sample size. Yes. Even David Ortiz. A few big moments may sway your recollection of a player's grittiness, but trust me: the evidence is overwhelming. Even when you find players who seem to perform better or worse in a given situation, there's almost always some reason other than his pluckometer. And random chance is almost always the reason.

Keeping all this in mind, I want you to watch this video clip of announcer Jeff Brantley displaying his ignorance in the following areas:

1) Whether it is possible for a player to be "clutch";
2) Whether Edwin Encarnacion will be clutch in this particular situation;
3) Dusty Baker's genius in asking a player who obviously doesn't know how to lay down a bunt to go up and bunt;
4) How to admit you've made a horse's ass of yourself and shut the fuck up.

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I love that his broadcast partner, who actually appears to have his head screwed on correctly, just ignores him after the homer.

This video is popping up everywhere, I found it from Fire Joe Morgan, my favorite baseball site other than this one. The next time you want to talk about whether a player is clutch or not, remember this: you sound just as dumb as Jeff Brantley. Really.

1 comment:

thedope said...

That video was pretty clutch. I am seeing this video pop up everywhere. On the bright side, at least Brantley wasn't stubborn about it and repeatedly admitted how wrong he was.